Why Are They at War With Us?
"We are at war.
We are at war against al-Qaida, a far-reaching network
of violence and hatred that attacked us on 9/11, that
killed nearly 3,000 innocent people and that is plotting
to strike us again."
Barack Obama clear the air as to whether we are at
war, and with whom and why.
Following his remarks, during a
White House briefing by National Security Council aide
John Brennan, Helen Thomas asked a follow-up question to
which we almost never hear an answer:
Why is al-Qaida at war with us?
What is its motivation?
It was Osama bin Laden himself, in
declaration of war in 1998, published in London, who
gave al-Qaida`s reasons for war:
First, the U.S. military presence
on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia. Second, U.S.
sanctions causing terrible suffering among the Iraqi
people. Third, U.S. support for Israel`s dispossession
of the Palestinians.
"All these crimes
and sins committed by the Americans are a clear
declaration of war on God, his Messenger and Muslims,"
He began his fatwa quoting the
when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay
the pagans wherever ye find them, seize them, beleaguer
them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of
To Osama, we started the war.
Muslims, the ulema, must fight because America, with her
occupation of the (Arabian) Peninsula" and support
for "the Jews`
petty state" and
Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there" was waging
war upon the Islamic world.
Terrorism, the direct killing of
civilians for political ends, is al-Qaida`s
unconventional tactic, but its war aims are quite
Al-Qaida is fighting a religious
war against apostates and pagans in their midst, a civil
war against collaborators of the Crusaders and an
anti-colonial war to drive us out of the Dar al-Islam.
On Sept. 11, they were over here—because we are over
Nothing justifies the massacre of
Sept. 11. But these are the political goals behind the
9/11 attack, and this is why Islamists fare well in
elections in the Middle East. Tens of millions of
Muslims, who may despise terrorism, identify with the
causes for which Osama declared war—liberation of Muslim
peoples from pro-American autocrats and Israeli
Americans are being killed for the
reasons Osama said we should be killed—not because of
who we are, but because of where we are and what we do.
Consider. America lost 4,000
soldiers in six years in Iraq, with 30,000 wounded. Yet
not one American of the 125,000 soldiers in Iraq was
killed in December. Why not? Because we no longer
conduct raids, patrol streets, kick down doors and pat
down suspects. We have ended our combat operations,
withdrawn to desert bases and seem anxious to go home.
When we stopped fighting and killing them, they stopped
fighting and killing us.
Most Americans today appear content
to let Shia and Sunni, Arab and Kurd decide the future
of Iraq. And if they cannot settle their quarrels
without a civil-sectarian war, why should their war be
According to Gen. Barry McCaffrey,
we must now prepare for 300 to 500 dead and wounded
every month in Afghanistan by summer.
Why are the Taliban killing our
soldiers? Because we threw them out of power, took over
their country and imposed the Hamid Karzai regime, and
our troops, some 100,000 by fall, are the force
preventing them from recapturing their country. We will
bleed in Afghanistan as long as we are in Afghanistan.
But if, as Obama said,
"we are at war
with al-Qaida," why are we fighting Taliban when
al-Qaida is in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and North
Hamas has used terrorism, but not
against us. Hezbollah has used terrorism, but not
against us since the bombing of the Marine barracks, a
quarter-century ago. And our Marines were attacked in
Lebanon because we were in Lebanon, intervening in their
civil-sectarian war. Had the Marines not been sent into
the midst of that war, they would not have been
When Ronald Reagan withdrew them,
the attacks stopped.
Like Europe`s Thirty Years`
War—among Germans, French, Czechs, Dutch, Danes, Swedes,
Scots and English, Catholics and Protestants, kings,
princes and emperors—the Muslim world is roiled by
conflicts between pro-Western autocrats and Islamic
militants, Sunni and Shia, modernists and obscurantists,
nationalities, tribes and clans. The outcome of these
wars, the future of their lands—is that not their
business, and not ours?
The Muslims stayed out of our
Thirty Years` War. Perhaps we would do well to get out
of theirs. But as long as we take sides in their wars,
those we fight and kill over there will come to kill us
This is payback for our
intervention. This is the price of empire. This is the
cost of the long war.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to
VDARE.COM readers; his book State
of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America, can
be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How
Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost
Paul Craig Roberts.